Room to Read’s New York Gala celebrates education as a great equalizer, benefiting 115,000 children with IMC winners Lilly Singh and Tatcha
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Room to Read, a global education nonprofit creating a world free of illiteracy and gender inequality, held its annual gala in New York City last night at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room. The evening, under the theme “Education Equals”, brought together the business, entertainment and media industries to raise transformational investments that will benefit 115,000 children affected by the current education crisis, exacerbated by the loss of learning due to pandemic-related school closures, through Room to Read’s programs that support girls’ literacy and education.
In her keynote address, Dr Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read, said: “Our aim tonight is to celebrate the pure joy of being together again after such a long time apart, to reconnect with each other with others and to recommit ourselves to our mission. (Our supporters are) the reason (Room to Read) has not only survived the past two years, but thrived in the face of unprecedented challenges, ensuring that education endures for millions of children, as well than the hope and opportunity it brings.
Room to Read recognized Lilly Singh, actress, producer, best-selling author and creator; Tatcha, the luxury skincare brand; and IMC, a global technology-focused business, as recipients for their continued support of educational equality. Headliner Flo Rida performed for the guests, as well as a capella group Penn Masala. Guests were treated to a surprise performance by Kappa Alpha Psi members, Brotherhood®, who performed a routine displaying vocalization, content, and unity with a reading-based message emphasizing memorization, accuracy, and precision. Reuben A. Shelton III, the Grand Polemarch was present to represent Kappa Alpha Psi ®’s partnership to inspire a love of reading in children in the United States
Singh received the Superhero Award for his commitment to girls’ education. As a longtime supporter of Room to Read, Singh has previously traveled to India to meet a cohort of young women supported by the organization’s girls’ education program. In 2021, she donated earnings from an appearance on “The Price is Right at Night” to support Room to Read programs.
On the gender gap in education, Singh said, “We all have a role to play when it comes to advancing education and gender equity. Gender inequality in all its devastating forms is an issue that is deeply personal to me. I’ve spent my life and my career trying to prove that being female at birth shouldn’t be considered a disadvantage. When I look at the faces of the girls I’ve met with Room to Read, I want them to understand their value and their possibilities. This journey begins with education.
Tatcha co-founders Vicky Tsai and Brad Murray accepted the Champion Award for Significant Influence from the company’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures fund. Since 2014, Tatcha’s partnership with Room to Read has provided more than 6.8 million school days for adolescent girls in Asia and Africa and funded the development and distribution of more than 70,000 children’s books for underserved children in the United States.
Of Tatcha’s philanthropic commitment to Room to Read during the company’s founding years when she was also a new mother, Tsai said, “Going back to the promise I made to my unborn girl, educating girls is the perfect way to help turn the beauty industry around. perpetuating the idea that our inherent worth as girls and women depends on how the world perceives our appearance.
Tsai also pointed out that 61% of American families who live in poverty do not have children’s books in the home and addressed the lack of diverse representation in the American children’s book publishing industry. Tsai noted that this prompted Tatcha to invest in the American work of Room to Read, saying, “Representation is a vital part of rebuilding our society and making things safer for children of everyone, of all colors. and of all ethnicities. One of Room to Read’s boldest goals is to eradicate childhood illiteracy in our lifetime. There’s never been a better time to be bold, impatient and action-oriented.
IMC received a Champion Award for its large-scale support of Room to Read’s literacy program in Africa. As a partner of Room to Read since 2016, IMC’s commitment to education has helped facilitate literacy for over 2.2 million children. Additionally, IMC has helped support over 550 schools in Tanzania and South Africa. Lisa Wiersma, executive director of the IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation, accepted the award.
“IMC and Room to Read share a commitment to expanding opportunities for individuals to learn and develop to their full potential. We believe that developing foundational literacy skills through quality education is essential to making a difference in the world. “future of a child. IMC is honored to be recognized tonight and to celebrate the fantastic work of Room to Read,” said Lisa Wiersma, Executive Director of the IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation.
The event was hosted by Room to Read’s North America Regional Board and Room to Read’s Global Board was also in attendance. Speakers included Sara Eisen, host of CNBC’s “Closing Bell”; Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube; Juvenalius Kuruletera, Country Director of Room to Read Tanzania; Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO of BentallGreenOak; and Yusuf Alireza, CEO and CIO, ARP Global Capital Limited.
Red carpet and interior photos from the event are available here.
About Reading Space
Founded in 2000 on the belief that global change begins with educated children®, Room to Read is creating a world free of illiteracy and gender inequality. We achieve this goal by helping children in historically low-income communities build literacy skills and a reading habit, and by helping girls build the skills needed to succeed in school and negotiate key life decisions. . We work with governments and other partner organizations to achieve positive results for children at scale. Room to Read has benefited over 32 million children and worked in 21 countries and 49,000 communities, providing additional support through remote solutions that facilitate learning beyond the classroom. Room to Read aims to reach 40 million children by 2025. Learn more at www.roomtoread.org